Federal Financial Services Minister to visit Bendigo

Bendigo has a great story to tell Minister for Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, when he visits the city next week, according to endorsed Federal Labor candidate, Lisa Chesters.

Ms Chesters said Labor has long recognised and supported Bendigo’s importance as a regional financial services centre.

“According to independent estimates, in 2010 the finance and insurance sector contributed more than $700 million to the Bendigo economy.”

Ms Chesters said former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recognised the significance of Bendigo’s finance industry when he visited the city in 2007 to open Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s new $100 million head office – the only major bank head office located outside a state capital.

“And Bendigo and Adelaide was the only one of Australia’s largest banks to survive the global financial crisis without financial support from the Federal Government.”

In 2002, Rural Finance Corporation relocated to Bendigo after considering moves to Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton, partly because of the exiting cluster of financial institutions in the city, Ms Chesters said.

“And State Trustees’ more recent move to Bendigo was an important initiative of the former Brumby Victorian Government to build on Bendigo’s reputation as a financial services centre and create more professional jobs in regional Victoria.”

Ms Chesters said Mr Shorten would be meeting with local government and business leaders in Bendigo and would be available to answer questions on the progress of the Gillard Government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms.

“The focus of these reforms is improving the quality of financial advice and expanding the availability of more affordable advice for the less well-off,” she said.

“The reforms are intended to improve investor protection and increase consumers’ confidence in the financial advice industry.”

“Federal Labor has protected Australia from the worst effects of the global economic 
crisis and is continuing to work steadily to improve economic conditions for all 
Australians.”